A Devil of a Bargain

The devil was in the neighbourhood fishing for souls.

Denison was desperate. He couldn’t make it as a novelist. Maybe as a musician. He always wanted to play in a band.

Very well, the Devil said. Wish granted.

Denison found he could play any instrument he wanted.  But he was still unhappy.

What’s the problem? the Devil asked.

I’m getting nowhere, he said.

I’m not the fucking genie in the bottle! He replied. I have powers but they are limited. I’ve granted you ability. The rest is up to you.

That’s a cop out, Denison snapped.

Blame the big guy in the sky.

It’s not enough. I want to rescind the bargain, Denison said.

Too late, the Devil said, as He flipped a switch. Denison disappeared down the trapdoor beneath him, busily expostulating …

We All Have Our Wolves

Ever had a fear

so big

you lost the power

of your legs

reserves all gone

depleted

your yabbering heart

quite unseated

you’re miniscule

so small

the wolf

skyscraper tall

nothing to do

but await

till the fear

obliterates.

Could be your ex

a confined space

the wolf wears many

a different face

Remain steady

stare don’t start

just you, yourself

& yr red riding hood heart.





*pic from Pinterest by Kings-Wu

Midsummer Murders

We’re marching towards mid-summer now.

Midsummer can be murder here,

the heatwave capital of Australia.

I can feel the heat in its loins already,

smell its sweaty armpits

hear the swagger in its step.

I’m coming, he says, like a general

on the march with his troops,

heatstrokes and bushfires,

& his meddlesome minions,

mozzies, snakes, spiders,

outcasts from Eden.

Not looking forward to this

but at least there’s the beach to go to,

the air-conditioned palaces of libraries

and shopping centres, the reverse cycle at home

and, of course, beers with the boys!

It Must Mean Something

I was driving to the clinic about my disintegrating blood

thinking about the riots in Washington,

the four deaths,

when Barry McGuire came on the radio, singing his anthem, from the sixties

‘Eve of Destruction’. You know it?

And I thought:

it must mean something, a message maybe but could something

written that far back, sixty years,

speak to the present?

Barry thought so, his voice just as urgent,

just as polemic

as it was then.

Sure, the finger on the nuclear button seemed shrill,

a little hysterical — it’d be more measured now, wouldn’t it? —

but the hate in Red China and the riots in Selma, Alabama,

seemed less so.

He was really getting worked up.

I thought his passion would pulverize the speakers.

I was getting a little scared, feel my blood fretting.

Just as I pulled in the car park,

the song came to an end.

God knows what apocalyptic anthem

would confront me on the way home.





pic courtesy of Wiki Commons

The Man Who Lost his Face

I was reading about Dallas Wiens who, while working inside

an hydraulic arm,  brushed against powerlines while painting

a church roof: how God  sizzled through him  but burnt

his face away; the word ‘debridement’ came up, the practice

of removing dead tissue, fat, muscle so a transplant could take place;

and I thought, hey! isn’t that’s what it’s like when you’re burnt

by fast and furious love? the high voltage thrill and fury that knocks

the heart sideways and scars it till the scorched pieces can be debrided,

a lovely and awesome word that suggests a young bride being ripped

from your side: ‘debrided’ , oh wow!

Rumble: Flash Fiction

We were holed up under the same roof, two people who couldn’t stand each other. And we had the whole night to spend in the same one bedroom flat. I took the lounge, she took the bed; we didn’t even say goodnight. We were murderous to each other. I could feel the old Minotaur in the labyrinth of my brain, gearing up for a rumble. But there could have been blood. Pray, I say, pray, don’t let her taunt me. I was scared of myself more than her. The Minotaur was raging. Just then the door opened

He Laughed Loudly

He laughed loudly.

A door closed behind him.

He laughed a little more loudly still.

Another door closed behind him. Slammed!

He continued. He chortled. He guffawed. He jeered.

A text message came through.

“Will you STOP laughing, please? You’re annoying me.”

No, he said to himself. No. It’s my evening and I’ll laugh if I want to.

And he laughed even more loudly.

The walls themselves laughed loudly too, splitting their sides.

The cross-eyed cat doubled up with laughter.

A door opened quietly behind him.

The man was too busy laughing to notice.

The cord tightened around his throat.

This was no laughing matter.

What the &%%^&*& !

Look, I’m sorry I have to show you this but I deliberately left it blurry so you would not have to confront its ugliness.

No, it’s not a mouse or rat that the cat I haven’t got killed.

It’s an ugly mass of dust particles that we call ‘fluff’ in this neck of the woods.

It’s what the cleaner left in the bedroom wardrobe after I had paid him sixty bucks for doing ‘such a superb job’ [my words]

It was like the shower scene in ‘Psycho’ for me where instead of being confronted with a blade I’m confronted with a rat-sized piece of woolly fluff.

I almost fell backwards and yes I did utter the blanked out word above and I photographed the evidence straight away.

I just had to tell you about it and I feel better already.

Get thee to a rubbish bin, I said, and to its credit, it hopped in the one provided.

The funny thing is, the rest of the house is spick and span. So how did he miss this?!

and btw I’ve just been informed this is my 500th post 🙂

  • have you ever had anything like that happen to you?

Don’t Go Down in the Basement, Darling

Bad things happen in basements

we know

the Id beneath the floorboards

so Lester’s wife should have thought twice

about mocking his masculinity

in their basement

by the clothes dryer that doesn’t work well;

now Linda doesn’t work well either.

Badasses and Babadooks bide in basements

& the offspring of Horror Writers’

brains.

So the next time someone offers to take you

down the basement

or hop into a car boot

or trunk

if they’re North American

that basement of motor vehicles

don’t!

Spookier than Halloween

I go down the shop to buy a packet of cigs for a friend. I tell the cashier the brand.

What colour? she says. Blue, gold or red?

I dunno, I say. The one with Bryan on the packet.

Who’s Bryan?

The poster boy of lung cancer. On the rack of his deathbed. Skin sick as pus, emaciated, eyes wild, pleading.

Sounds terrible, she says.

It is. Cancer porn. Spookier than anything you’ll see on Halloween.